NATO tackling climate change for first time
NATO said for the first time Monday that it will address the issue of climate change by factoring in environmental concerns as part of the military alliance’s activities.
In a statement, NATO called climate change a “threat multiplier” to the alliance’s security and said members have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions tied to military activities but “without impairing personnel safety, operational effectiveness and our deterrence and defence posture.”
“Today we have endorsed an Action Plan to implement our NATO Agenda on Climate Change and Security, which increases our awareness, adaptation, mitigation, and outreach efforts, while ensuring a credible deterrence and defence posture and upholding the priorities of the safety of military personnel and operational and cost effectiveness,” NATO said.
Part of NATO’s action plan calls for conducting annual assessments on climate change, according to the statement.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Sunday that President Biden in agreement with NATO leaders wants the organization to be the premier international organization to focus on climate change and security.
“The secretary general, with the support of the president and others, wants NATO to be the premier international security organization working on the intersection between climate and security,” Sullivan said. “Obviously, the climate dimension of everything — all of our militaries do, and all of our security systems do — is growing and intensifying, and NATO will be front and center in all of that.”
NATO’s statement on Monday comes as Biden and other heads of state from NATO member countries are in Brussels for a summit. Biden has used the trip to reassert U.S. involvement on the global stage on a range of issues, including climate change and military alliances.